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Royal Dutch Shell to sell $1.14 billion of its Australian holdings

Jan. 20, 2014 at 12:03 PM

LONDON, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Royal Dutch Shell said it would sell its interest in an Australian gas field to the Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co. for $1.14 billion in cash.

"Shell will remain a major player in Australia's energy industry. However, we are refocusing our investment to where we can add the most value with Shell's capital and technology, said Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden.

Last week, Shell warned investors its earnings in the fourth quarter would be about $2.2 billion lower in the fourth quarter compared to the fourth quarter of 2012, a drop of about 70 percent.

The company blamed slim refining margins and increased spending for the profit warning.

In Australia, margins are lower due to high labor costs, the Journal said.

In the $1.14 billion deal, Shell is selling its 8 percent share of the Wheatstone-Iago gas field and its 6.4 percent interest in the Wheatstone liquefied-natural-gas project in Western Australia.

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